The 64 million views (as of today) of Invisible Children’s videos on YouTube are a marketer’s dream come true.
Isn’t it a goddam shame that it’s always the bad stories that are popular?
And isn’t it a tragedy that Uganda is always in the news for the wrong reasons?
The #kony2012 and #makekonyfamous debate is fascinating BUT before I go any further, can I please say loud and clear: Uganda ‘The Pearl of Africa’ is still a beautiful, secure and welcoming place with the friendliest people you could hope to meet. I feel safer living here – three years without incident – than I did in London.
The 20 year civil war in Northern Uganda is officially over – tourism is predominantly in the south-west of the country – although the North will take generations to rebuild. Many thousands of people are trying to rebuild their lives. Many won’t manage it; the emotional and physical scars are too deep (especially for children who have been kidnapped, sexually assaulted and forced to become killing machines).
Joseph Kony is evil.
His crimes against humanity are undisputed. But why has he remained at large for so long?
As comedy-writer-turned-Kony-expert Jane Bussmann argues in the Huffington Post this week there has to be a reason why Uganda’s 40,000 strong army don’t seem to be able to track down him and his rag tag bunch of kid soldiers.
It goes without saying that it’s good this issue is being discussed but let’s not kid ourselves that a video will necessarily lead to anything substantial. Last year I was offered an interview to work with Invisible Children. I turned it down but, to be honest, was impressed with the way they seek to draw in young people who had no awareness of this side of the world.
Here are a few real things you CAN do:
1. Do read Jane’s superb book: well-researched and hilarious by equal measure (throw in a touch of bonkers!)The Worst Date Ever: or How It Took a Comedy Writer to Expose Africa’s Secret War
2. US citizens should read Jane’s article for how to lobby their Senator.